Pakistan minister confirms kidnapped Chinese nationals have been killed
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Pakistan minister confirms kidnapped Chinese nationals have been killed

Pakistan’s interior minister has confirmed that two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Balochistan last month have been killed.

world Updated: Jun 12, 2017 19:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
China-Pakistan relations,Islamic State,kidnapped Chinese nationals
File photo of a Pakistani soldier standing guard near the site where two Chinese nationals were kidnapped by gunmen in Quetta on May 24, 2017. (Reuters)

Pakistan interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday confirmed that two Chinese nationals who were abducted from Quetta had been killed.

This was the first reaction by a Pakistani official after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of the Chinese nationals – a man and a woman who were working as language teachers – last week.

Khan, who was chairing a meeting at the interior ministry in Islamabad, said a “misuse of the terms of business visa” issued to the two Chinese nationals had contributed to their abduction and subsequent murder, according to media reports.

He was silent on the Islamic State’s claim. The Pakistan government has for long contended the terror group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not have a presence in the country even though it has claimed a string of terror attacks.

Media reports had said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had “snubbed” Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the killing of the Chinese nationals by not holding a formal bilateral meeting on the margins of the SCO Summit in Astana. However, the Chinese foreign ministry dismissed these reports on Monday and said the two leaders had met several times in the Kazakhstan capital.

The Chinese nationals - Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26 – were kidnapped by armed men from Jinnah Town in Quetta on May 24.

Hours after the Pakistan Army announced last week that it had carried out an operation against IS-linked militants in Balochistan, the terror group claimed it had killed the Chinese nationals in the same area.

During the meeting in Islamabad, Khan was informed that a group of Chinese citizens, including Lee and Meng, obtained business visas from the Pakistan embassy in Beijing and entered Pakistan.

Instead of engaging in any business activity, Lee and Meng went to Quetta and “engaged in preaching” while pretending to learn Urdu.

Khan directed the interior secretary to investigate the matter and to ensure that such misuse of visas does not occur in future. He directed the interior ministry to review and regulate the process of issuing visas to Chinese nationals and to maintain a databank of Chinese nationals in Pakistan.

First Published: Jun 12, 2017 19:01 IST